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The ELCA Elects its First Openly Gay Bishop
Institute of Religion and Deomcracy's blog ^ | 6 June AD 2013 | Robert Benne

Posted on 06/06/2013 2:59:21 PM PDT by lightman

The ELCA Elects its First Openly Gay Bishop

06 Thursday Jun 2013 By Robert Benne

Last week at its annual assembly the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) elected its first openly gay Bishop—Guy Erwin, who is a theology professor at California Lutheran University in California Oaks as well as the interim pastor of a nearby ELCA parish. Erwin has been ordained a mere two years because the ELCA has ordained openly gay pastors only since the momentous decisions of its 2009 Churchwide Assembly, which allowed the ordination of partnered gays. He respectfully waited to be properly ordained rather than join the ranks of those who had been irregularly ordained before the ELCA officially permitted it. He is in a partnered relationship and identifies with a Native American nation. He took his undergraduate degree from Harvard and his graduate degrees from Yale.

His election was not unexpected since it was rumored that he would be nominated. He was already well-known because of a feature article in the ELCA magazine The Lutheran about his ordination as a partnered gay. He is a favored theologian of the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Mark Hanson. Moreover, since the 2009 decisions that allowed the blessing and ordination of partnered gays it was inevitable that an openly gay or lesbian pastor would be elected as Bishop sooner or later.

There are a number of significant effects of this ordination. For one, it seals and reinforces the tacit commitment of the ELCA to normalize homosexual conduct. The election of a partnered gay to the high office of Bishop certainly affirms the sexuality involved in that partnership. This affirmation will in turn encourage more synods to ordain partnered gays and more parishes to bless—or, more likely, “marry”—partnered gays. I wrote “tacit commitment” because the ELCA does not yet have any public, normative biblical or theological rationale for its normalization of homosexual conduct. Its 2009 Social Statement on Sexuality admits that there was no consensus in the church on the bottom-line issue of the moral legitimation of gay sex. Yet it changed two of the central practices of the church—ordination and marriage—anyway. This, by the way, is from a church that prides itself in its commitment to theological guidance of its life and mission.

There will be few open protests to his election since the “commanding heights” of the church are heartily in favor of it. Open resistance would mean a diminished future for pastors in the church. The phony provision to respect the “bound conscience” of traditionalists will be narrowed further to pastors and individuals in parishes who don’t make any fuss. There is already little public fuss because most pastors and their parishes are terrified even to bring up this subject, fearing rightly that it will cost them members either way they go.

But there will be those pastors and laypeople throughout the ELCA who will find this more than they can stomach and will depart for the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) or for the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The Southwest California Synod has already lost many of its largest churches to the LCMC. How many more will leave is unclear. Maybe the wave of leavings of the ELCA is over, though a continuing stream of churches has been departing even before this decision. The larger effects on the ELCA will consist of individual Lutherans drifting off to other churches or simply withholding their money from the synodical and national expressions of the church.

The major repercussion of the election of Erwin will be international. The growing African Lutheran churches will distance themselves further from the ELCA, much like the African Anglican Churches separated from their Episcopalian counterparts. Already the Ethopian Evangelical Church Mekane Jesus, the second largest Lutheran body in the world, has terminated its relationship with the ELCA and the Church of Sweden. That termination also ended the “companion” relationship between the South Central Synod of the Ethopian Evangelical Church Mekane Jesus and the Southwest California Synod of the ELCA, the Synod that ordained Erwin. The Ethiopian church has instead established formal relations with the North American Lutheran Church.

The next in line will most likely be the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania—six million and growing—which had already planned to send a Bishop to the annual NALC Convocation to be held in Pittsburgh in August. After the election of Erwin the Tanzanians will likely break with the ELCA and move to establish relations with the NALC. Other African churches will probably follow that pattern.

These international effects will be embarrassing to the ELCA, which prides itself so much in its “inclusivity.” But it seems there are limits to that theme, both at home and abroad. The realignment of Christianity moves apace before our very eyes.


TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: bigfag; elca; fdrq; homosexualagenda; lutheran; moralabsolutes
The realignment of Christianity moves apace before our very eyes.

Four years ago many of us were merely speaking of the "realignment of North American Lutheranism".

Now we are recoginizing that it is far broader than just Lutheranism, and far wider than merely North American.

1 posted on 06/06/2013 2:59:21 PM PDT by lightman
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To: aberaussie; Aeronaut; aliquando; AlternateViewpoint; AnalogReigns; Archie Bunker on steroids; ...


Lutheran (EL C S*A) Ping!

* as of August 19, AD 2009, a liberal protestant SECT, not part of the holy, catholic and apostolic CHURCH.

Be rooted in Christ!

2 posted on 06/06/2013 2:59:59 PM PDT by lightman (Buzzed and buggered bath house Barry: the Benghazi bungler.)
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To: lightman

“Big Religion” continues its march toward irrelevancy.


3 posted on 06/06/2013 3:02:54 PM PDT by Arm_Bears (Refuse; Resist; Rebel; Revolt!)
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To: lightman

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. The ELCA ceased being a Christian church and turned into just another Lib social services organization years ago. This is the logical next step.


4 posted on 06/06/2013 3:03:59 PM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: lightman

another socalled church to get the Hell out of, asap!

go find a church that at least tries to uphold basic Biblical teachings and moral standards

allowing that we are all human, there ARE still some more genuinely=Christian churches than this one, that for sure!

-————today’s reading (at least, this comes to mind...)
take it or leave it, of course...


The Rise of False Prophets (2 Peter 2: —)

2 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a [a]preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from [b]temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who [c]indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.

Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic [d]majesties, 11 whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in [e]the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, 13 suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their [f]deceptions, as they carouse with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; 15 forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.

17 These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the [g]black darkness has been reserved. 18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, 19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22 [h]It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”


5 posted on 06/06/2013 3:07:10 PM PDT by faithhopecharity (()
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

The decline accelerated geometrically with the election of Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson in 2001, who has been aptly described as “Bill Clinton in an alb”.


6 posted on 06/06/2013 3:08:06 PM PDT by lightman (Buzzed and buggered bath house Barry: the Benghazi bungler.)
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To: lightman

I thought most Bishops would be gay...do they mean homosexual?


7 posted on 06/06/2013 3:10:13 PM PDT by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheel barrow)
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To: faithhopecharity
Aye.

Quoting from the article, with links added

But there will be those pastors and laypeople throughout the ELCA who will find this more than they can stomach and will depart for the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) or for the North American Lutheran Church (NALC).

8 posted on 06/06/2013 3:12:15 PM PDT by lightman (Buzzed and buggered bath house Barry: the Benghazi bungler.)
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To: lightman

They just slit their own throats.

Thou shalt have no false gods before me.


9 posted on 06/06/2013 3:24:24 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: lightman

Wondering when the “true Church” Catholics will arrive to lambast this thread as an example of us church impersonators getting our due for running away from “mother.”


10 posted on 06/06/2013 3:31:55 PM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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To: fwdude
They don't have to. You did it just fine.
11 posted on 06/06/2013 3:42:38 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: hinckley buzzard

I left ECLA years ago. The goal was to expand membership to pay for the new church for our guitar playing minister who like,to hit on 16 year old girls.


12 posted on 06/06/2013 3:53:27 PM PDT by whitedog57
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To: whitedog57
our guitar playing minister who like,to hit on 16 year old girls.

The heterosexuals have been far from blameless...no reason to buy the gaysbian agenda, but we have a mighty plank in our eye.

13 posted on 06/06/2013 4:16:21 PM PDT by lightman (Buzzed and buggered bath house Barry: the Benghazi bungler.)
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To: lightman

so what’s his theology? Is he a believer in Christ’s death and atonement? The Trinity? Salvation by faith alone?


14 posted on 06/06/2013 5:36:45 PM PDT by LadyDoc (T)
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To: lightman

Martin Luther, on the heinous conduct of the people of Sodom:

“...extraordinary, inasmuch as they departed from the natural passion and longing of the male for the female, which is implanted into nature by God, and desired what is altogether contrary to nature. Whence comes this perversity? Undoubtedly from Satan, who after people have once turned away from the fear of God, so powerfully suppresses nature that he blots out the natural desire and stirs up a desire that is contrary to nature. (Luther’s Works, Vol. 3, 255)

ELCA can not be ‘Lutheran’,


15 posted on 06/06/2013 6:04:03 PM PDT by polymuser ("We have a right to debate and disagree with any administration!" (HRC))
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To: LadyDoc

I’d guess calling sinners to repentance isn’t high on his list of priorities.....it’s just a guess, though.


16 posted on 06/06/2013 6:44:02 PM PDT by luckymom (The Son of God became a man that men might become sons of God. -C.S. Lewis)
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To: LadyDoc

Almost certainly not. For some reason, if you look closely at those “Christian” leaders who support sodomy, you always find they are not orthodox—even if in just tolerating intolerable ethics.

Typically the supernatural of scripture is rejected...the atonement is considered “bloody” child abuse...and always, ALWAYS...the authority of scripture is thrown out.

Also, interestingly, always...including THE most liberal...they have a works-based theology (even if those works are “saving the earth” enviromentalism and liberal politics)—and justification by faith alone is rejected.


17 posted on 06/07/2013 3:18:15 PM PDT by AnalogReigns (because the real world is not digital...)
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To: polymuser
ELCA can not be ‘Lutheran’

Unfortunately the Evangelisch official state-Church Lutherans of Germany...the actual body one can trace straight back to Luther...are also as liberal and non-Lutheran as ELCA.

18 posted on 06/07/2013 3:22:18 PM PDT by AnalogReigns (because the real world is not digital...)
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To: lightman; rhema; redgolum

My sympathies. Can’t we sue them to stop using the word Lutheran in their name? Actually I’d also want them to remove the words evangelical and church. Perhaps call themselves Everything-goes Lesb-homosexual Club of America?


19 posted on 06/09/2013 12:19:30 AM PDT by Cronos (Latin presbuteros>Late Latin presbyter->Old English pruos->Middle Engl prest->priest)
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To: AnalogReigns

True, they have a lesbian as their head in Germany. Sigh... this bodes bad for all Christians — as we know that the leftists will say “see, look, if they can do this, why can’t you WELS or LCMS or Catholics do the same?” and the Moslems will say “Christian infidels are all homosexual lovers” — neither will differentiate between ELCA and (WELS and CAtholics) etc.


20 posted on 06/09/2013 12:22:04 AM PDT by Cronos (Latin presbuteros>Late Latin presbyter->Old English pruos->Middle Engl prest->priest)
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To: fwdude; hinckley buzzard
Fwdude -- you can say that if you want, but I as a Catholic take 0 pleasure in this act.

While we have differences with Lutherans, the WELS and Catholic orthodox have much more in common with each other than with liberal lutherans and catholics.

To take please in the fall of the ELCA is to take please in one flank of the army of Christ falling -- insane.

21 posted on 06/09/2013 12:24:33 AM PDT by Cronos (Latin presbuteros>Late Latin presbyter->Old English pruos->Middle Engl prest->priest)
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To: Cronos
E xtremely
L ibertine
C ult of
A ntinomianism

22 posted on 06/09/2013 4:18:49 AM PDT by lightman (Buzzed and buggered bath house Barry: the Benghazi bungler.)
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To: lightman

One issue here is the history of word definition abuse by socialists/liberals/progressives. Note: partnered gays. What does that mean?

In normal male/female relationships there is a sense of primal, sexual exclusivity and a oneness. There are no homosexual ‘partnerings’ with this same sense of exclusivity. It’s more like roommates who are a ‘team’ and who share a resource burden.

Their is no sexual exclusivity. Furthermore, you wouldn’t ordain someone who isn’t vested in following the Scriptures, at least not in a Christian church. The Scriptures clearly and unequivocally condemn homosexuality and all sexual sin, while celebrating and affirming man/woman marriage and monogamy (more accurately monogyny with God-ordained and specific exceptions for polygyny).


23 posted on 06/09/2013 6:09:18 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: lightman

Our family left the Episcopal church years ago after the election of Vicki Gene Robinson...an openly gay bishop.

Left his wife and kids to be with his gay lover...then made bishop. Yikes.

To all conservative Lutherans, Missouri and Wisconsan synods or you are more than welcome in the “Conservative” Anglican Church in America.

Praise to the Lamb of God.


24 posted on 06/09/2013 6:27:09 AM PDT by servantboy777
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To: Arm_Bears

Except the ELCA keeps all the wealth.


25 posted on 06/12/2013 7:17:11 AM PDT by dangus (Poverty cannot be eradicated as long as the poor remain dependent on the state - Pope Francis)
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To: polymuser

>> “...extraordinary, inasmuch as they departed from the natural passion and longing of the male for the female, which is implanted into nature by God, and desired what is altogether contrary to nature. Whence comes this perversity? Undoubtedly from Satan, who after people have once turned away from the fear of God, so powerfully suppresses nature that he blots out the natural desire and stirs up a desire that is contrary to nature.” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 3, 255) <<

Notice: Luther holds that unnatural desires (homosexuality) spring from repressing natural ones (heterosexuality). From this, he advises, “Be a sinner, and sin boldly, but let your trust in Christ be stronger.” In other words, once you restore your faith in Christ by being unashamed of your sinfulness, you will be saved despite your sins.

The problem is that this advice denies concupiscence, the tendency for sin to be habitual. Also, many people, once they act on a sin, face the temporal consequences of that sin, including increased shame. Luther, here, is part right: The alcoholic who goes on a bender often “hits bottom,” and finally seeks grace. But one would certainly not tell someone struggling with alcoholism, “go ahead and drink! God loves you anyway!”

For centuries, natural Christian abhorrence of truly shameful behaviors, including homosexuality, kept people from actually acting on Luther’s advice... except for when they hit bottom. The problem is that the logic of the practicing gay, when confronted by Luther, is to say, “God loves me as I am, therefore I need not change.”

Luther was reacting against a notion in Catholicism that wasn’t doctrine, but which was widespread and false: If I am shameful, all I need to do is receive these sacraments, and I can go on my way. In truth, Christianity requires that one expose their shamefulness to the light (as Luther demanded), but not by acting out evil impulses (as Luther taught), but by fearlessly confessing them. At least among the modern, gay priests expected that the priesthood would make their gay inclinations irrelevant; they found, instead, that their unhealthy sexuality metastosized (another point to Luther). The gay, or even molesting, priests (I think it’s safe to say that’s what Luther refers to) needed to acknowledge their wickedness and seek out forgiveness, instead of simply entering a cycle of self-loathing. But they certainly should not go to the logical extreme to which luther points, which is to be openly homosexual!


26 posted on 06/12/2013 8:19:16 AM PDT by dangus (Poverty cannot be eradicated as long as the poor remain dependent on the state - Pope Francis)
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